Transformation of rodent cells by human adenoviruses is a well-established model system for studying the expression, regulation, and function of class I antigens. In this report, we demonstrate that the highly oncogenic adenovirus type 12 operates at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels in regulating the activity of major histocompatibility complex class I genes and products in transformed cells. Adenovirus type 12 suppresses the cell surface expression of class I antigens in most cell lines. Nevertheless, in a number of cell lines suppression is the result of reduction in the amount of stable specific mRNA, while in another group of cell lines suppression involves interference with processing of a posttranscriptional product. The two mechanisms operate both for the endogenous H-2 genes and for a miniature swine class I transgene that is expressed in the cells.